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Board supports rephrased mission and values statements

Bethel College’s mission has been the subject of recent discussion at the board level — as well as across campus and with church leadership — leading to proposals for adjusted language, which the Futures Committee presented at the board’s fall meeting.

The Board of Directors, meeting on campus Oct. 16–17, unanimously approved revised mission and values statements. What was previously one lengthy statement that embodied both mission and values has now been distilled into two, more succinct, statements that tie to the existing vision statement (approved by the board in October 2011) in order to add clarity and impact for each.

The mission statement now reads:

Bethel College is an independent institution of higher education. The mission of the college is to prepare students, through active learning and rigorous instruction imbued with the spirit of liberal arts, to become critical thinkers and engaged global citizens.

The importance of Anabaptist identity leads off the values statement.

This describes a vision and mission grounded in the values inherited from its historical relationship with the Christian faith tradition of the Mennonite church and lists seven values intrinsic to Bethel’s institutional character and fundamental to working to carry out the mission of the college: discipleship; scholarship; service; integrity; community; peace and social justice; and diversity.

For more of this article, visit http://www.bethelks.edu/news-events/news/post/5080/.

Fine Arts Center name now includes that of Dutch engraver

The name that now appears on Bethel College’s Fine Arts Center (FAC) may not be immediately familiar to many, even Mennonites.

However, a good percentage of Mennonites will recognize the work of Jan Luyken, a 17th-century Dutch engraver and illustrator, whose 104 copper etchings illustrated the 1685 edition of the Martyrs Mirror.

Until 2011, only 30 of Luyken’s plates were known to be still extant. Those 30 are at Bethel’s Kauffman Museum, part of the exhibit Mirror of the Martyrs.

Another plate came to light in Germany in 2011. It is on display at the museum through the end of this year before returning to its permanent home in the Mennonite Historical Library in Goshen, Indiana.

Following two years of extensive renovation to the Fine Arts Center, Bethel advancement staff hosted a re-dedication of the facility Oct. 18 during Fall Festival.

At that time, the new name was unveiled: Luyken Fine Arts Center.

The name resulted from a significant, but anonymous, gift to the renovation efforts.

A brief re-dedication ceremony took place on the Molex Plaza in front of the building. Karen Bauman Schlabaugh, chair of the music department, spoke on behalf of faculty from the programs housed in the Fine Arts Center, and Jacob Miller, Bethel sophomore and member of the forensics squad, represented the students.

Then Miller pulled the cardboard off the sign over the FAC’s front entrance to reveal its new name.

Visitors were encouraged to tour the building and look at the fresh furnishings and updated areas.

There are five pods within the circular building, with photos and timelines that highlight forensics, choral music, instrumental music and theater, as well as emeritus faculty in those areas plus visual arts.

The art gallery, now named in honor of Professor Emeritus of Art Robert W. Regier ’52, has been completely redone.

Gifts from First Bank of Newton and the Bethel College Women’s Association resulted in a refurbished box office and kitchenette (used for receptions), respectively.

Outside, Fall Festival visitors celebrated the new Prairie Sky Stage on the northwest side of the FAC, enjoying poetry reading by Bethel students and by Siobhán Scarry, visiting assistant professor of literary studies, who recently published Pilgrimly, a book of poetry, along with a cappella and acoustic music from students — two vocal groups and a blues duo.

Student’s dream becomes reality with new disc golf course on campus

Bethel College junior Eric Preheim has been golfing from a young age.

That’s not surprising, considering he’s from Martinez, Georgia, a suburb of Augusta, home of one of the most famous golf courses in the world, Augusta National.

But wait — not that kind of golf. Preheim’s requires nothing but some small, flat, plastic discs and mesh baskets.

Preheim has been playing disc golf since I was 7 or 8, he says. In addition to its world-class conventional golf courses, the Augusta area has good disc golf courses, he says.

When he came to Bethel — where he’s majoring in business and starts on the soccer team at midfield — he discovered there actually was a disc golf course not too far away, at Centennial Park, which is less than a mile from campus.

Last fall, as he started his second year at Bethel, Preheim decided to plug into the annual clubs convo held each fall. Representatives of campus clubs and organizations briefly describe their group and then sign up new members.

I knew there were a few others who shared my interest in disc golf, Preheim says, so I decided to see about starting a club.

To his surprise, a few turned out to be around 40 who signed up that day.

My goal was to get one golf tee on campus, so we could practice putting, Preheim says. But my friend BJ Heffernan [2014 graduate and soccer teammate] told me I should dream bigger and think about doing a whole nine-hole course.

With that in mind, Preheim decided to run the idea past Bethel President Perry White.

Eric came to me representing the Disc Golf Club, White says. I encouraged the idea [of putting a course on campus], as I am interested in any idea that contributes to quality of campus life for our students and gets them out of their rooms and into the sunshine.

In addition, White said, I also saw an opportunity for Eric to have a learning experience and build his resume. Thus, after suggesting that Eric take his proposal through Student Senate, as appropriate processing and for their support, we connected him with Matt Hein in our advancement office.

Ultimately, Preheim and Hein, a 2009 Bethel grad, secured 12 financial sponsors, including nine local businesses or organizations.

Representatives of many of those were on hand Oct. 14 for the official ribbon-cutting (sponsored by the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce) for Thresher National Disc Golf Course, with a ceremonial throw to the first tee.

I’ve already seen lots of use, during weekdays and on weekends, Preheim says. We want visitors from off-campus to come and use it.

A map of the whole course is mounted on the west side of the Franz Art Center, just around the corner from the first tee. The course is open year-round during daylight hours.

For more of this article, visit http://www.bethelks.edu/news-events/news/post/5081/.

Second annual music clinic slated for November

Bethel College will offer its second Annual Honors Band and Orchestra Clinic on two weekends in November. More than 40 select high school musicians from Kansas and Oklahoma plan to participate.

Bethel graduate Daniel Hege ’87, conductor and music director of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, will serve as clinician for the orchestra clinic Nov. 16–17. To conclude the weekend workshop, the high school students will join the Bethel College Philharmonia for a concert at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17 (location yet to be announced), with Hege conducting.

Frank L. Battisti, emeritus conductor of the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, will serve as clinician for the Nov. 23–24 honors band clinic. Battisti is this year’s Greer Fine Arts visiting artist at Bethel. The concluding concert at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24, in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center, will feature the Honors Clinic Band and a full-length concert performance by the Bethel College Wind Ensemble, with Battisti conducting both.

Mark Jantzen ’85, associate professor of history at Bethel, will narrate one of the band pieces, reading from President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address.

For more information, contact Chris Westover, instructor of music, at cwestover@bethelks.edu.

Progress and participation toward Bethel’s $1.5 million giving goal

Bethel welcomes donations of all sizes from alumni and friends of the college as it strives to raise $1.5 million for the Bethel Fund (general fund) during the 2014–15 fiscal year, with good progress already being made toward that goal.

Undesignated donations and those specifically earmarked for the Bethel Fund support many aspects of the student experience, including:

  • scholarships
  • campus ministries, ministry inquiry
  • science equipment, computers
  • choir experiences, instrumental ensembles
  • theater and opera productions
  • undergraduate research, library resources
  • convocation speakers, cross-cultural learning
  • student organizations
  • campus health center
  • athletic uniforms and equipment
  • upkeep of facilities and campus landscaping
  • salaries of faculty and staff
  • many other essentials

Last year, hundreds of loyal alumni and friends of the college helped the Advancement Office team meet a $1.4 million giving goal for the Bethel Fund. You can help raise $100,000 more this year by giving to the college today.

Donate by credit card at https://www.bethelks.edu/gift/ or mail your gift to Development Office, Bethel College, 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS 67117.

Kauffman Museum to host two special events in November

John Harrington, professor of geography at Kansas State University, will lecture on Global Climate Change: What it might mean for Kansas at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9.

Harrington’s talk is in conjunction with the current special exhibition at the museum, Climate and Energy Central: Doing Science in Kansas, which explores the impact of global climate change and highlights research on renewable energy sources being conducted in the state of Kansas.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, the museum will show selections from the PBS documentary The Abolitionists as part of the Created Equal Film Series. Kip Wedel, assistant professor of history at Bethel, will lead a discussion following the film.

The lecture, film and discussion will be held in the auditorium at Kauffman Museum and are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Annette LeZotte, director of Kauffman Museum, at alezotte@bethelks.edu.

Interested in working at Bethel?

Alumni and friends of Bethel who are interested in employment at the college are encouraged to check www.bethelks.edu/hr/openings regularly for up-to-date job listings.

Current opportunities include serving as the Information and Media Services manager, and as a mathematics professor.

Openings are listed as they occur. In addition to detailed descriptions, the listings may include the anticipated beginning date and links to qualifications, duties, responsibilities and departmental information, plus an email link to the person responsible for collecting inquiries or applications.

Future Fall Fests

Since fall 1971, Bethel College has held an annual Fall Festival — its own special version of homecoming — to celebrate education, diverse cultural traditions, special foods, faith, fine arts, sports, crafts, community and friendship.

Since fall 1987, the special weekend has begun with Taste of Newton downtown on a Thursday evening, continued with special events at the college on Friday, peaked with the Fall Fest fair and activities across campus on Saturday, and ended with worship and the final performance of a Fall Fest stage production on Sunday.

Upcoming dates for Saturday’s annual Fall Festival fair on campus are

  • Oct. 10, 2015
  • Oct. 1, 2016
  • Oct. 14, 2017
  • Oct. 6, 2018
  • Oct. 5, 2019
  • Oct. 10, 2020

The dates are determined by the first home football game in October, as scheduled by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and posted on their website.